articles and tips from Fran Snyder and concertsinyourhome.com
This could be a long riff, but I’m keeping this one short so you can get a pad and paper out, and start riffing on your own.
You do not have to keep doing what you are doing. Also, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Here’s one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen in a while. How inpiring and original!
(Please let me know if that link becomes inactive.)
Check the video, then read about what this creative string arranger is doing.
Of course, house concerts are a great way to shake people out of their performing rutts… but what else can you think of? Please comment on this using the link below.
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Message from Fran:
We are just days away from re-launching the host information on the site. From now on, each host will have their own dedicated, full page, which they can update any time they like. A host page will look like this.
It’s been an incredible amount of work, and I’d like to thank the hosts for their willingness to participate in these nice improvements. If you’re a host and haven’t “re-joined” yet, please take a moment to do that now.
These improvements will be a huge leap forward in making artist-host communications much more effective. For example, do artists contact you to do shows on Thursday nights when you can only do Saturdays? The new layout will save everybody time and attention, and allow our hosts much more control over how their information is displayed.
Artists will love this too.
CIYH stats and developments:
CiYH stats as of April 30, 2008:
22,000 Monthly Visitors
In April we added 18 new hosts, and 25 new artists. We also deleted 11 inactive hosts from our listings.
New CIYH Hosts: (artist/agency members receive these by email)
Desert Song, Starry Night Gatherings, Stonecliffe Summer Concert Series, Blue Moon House Concert Series, In The Mood for Food, Tara’s House Concerts, Red Bear House Concerts, NB House Concert Series, Room With A View Concerts, Big Pink House Concerts, Terra Cotta House Concerts, Equinox, Wairarapa Folk Club, Canedy’s Cape House Concerts, Kerrville House Concerts, Vanna’s House Concerts, SMS Backyard Concert, Varney’s Cabana, Francis and Camille’s Home Grooves
New CIYH Artists: (A big thank you for your support.)
Adam Payne, Beki Hemingway, Brad Reynolds, Chris Valenti, Christina Martin, Dan Montgomery, DC Sills, Deanna Dove, Dennis Caraher, Doug Alan Wilcox, Gabriella, Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls, Jeanne T. Arrigo, Jim Wilson , Julie Sutton , kyle knapp , Laura Marie, Lisa Graciano, Nathen Aswell, Phil Putnam, Ruth and Max Bloomquist, Stella & Jane, Steve Pinnock Mood Indigo, The Translators, Tom Smith
Renewed Artists: (A HUGE thank you for your continued support!)
Andy Hill & Renee Safier, Colin Spring, Big Hands Colvin, Jennifer Leonhardt, Perpetual Motion, VK Lynne, Michael Gulezian, Marianne Kesler, Andrea Wittgens
Merch of the Month:
We kept hearing how much people like American Apparel shirts and we discovered a great site which now features our designs on many brands including AA. Please have a look, and buy something you love.
Artist of the Month:
We have a bunch of hit songwriters on this site… I won’t name names because I’m sure to forget a few. However, Craig Bickhardt is one of our most successful songwriters, and he’s totally embraced doing house concerts. Check out his credits, and see about knocking out some of your friends with a few of their favorite songs - straight from the source. Read all about it.
Host of the Month:
They’ve really built a nice community of volunteers, and now have started broadcasting their shows on local radio. That kind of exposure (and effort!) is not something we recommend for everybody, but kudos to them for pulling it off, and grabbing some great talent on a regular basis. Read all about it.
Tip for Artists:
Upgrade Your Artist Listing
We’ve reduced the price of the full page upgrade to only $18 (was $25) for limited time (May). This allows you to upload 3 times the audio, visual, and bio, as well as including a link to a youtube video if you have one. Upgrade here.
Have you seen this fun survey yet?
It compares what artists, duos, and bands make in different types of venues (coffeehouses, bars, house concerts, colleges, festivals) Check it out, participate, and rate it!
Tip for Hosts:
Have you seen the house concert survey lately? Fascinating stuff (for me at least)
This post is an intro to it…
Or you can skip the intro and dive right in.
Your feedback is always appreciated.
Tell your friends about house concerts. It’s too important to keep it our little secret. — fran
1. How did your house concerts come about?
The inspiration came from attending a house concert and loving the experience of seeing a favorite performer without all the noise and commotion that you experience in a typical club - that and the fact that there are so few opportunities to catch such high quality entertainment…so we thought we’d create our own…
2. What’s been the key(s) to building and maintaining your audience?
We try very hard to create a ‘vibe’ and it starts with having the very best performers you can find. We have a great sound system (donated by a folk singer tired of lugging the thing around) and a great sound guy too!! We promote like crazy, using every single resource we can find to get folks to come out and now have a regular crowd that simply will not miss a show.
I know that some folks might be able to pull off a concert with very little time, we probably have 10 to 20 hours involved for each show, and if we look like we’re going to be low, we start calling and guilting folks to come out.
We do open our doors to the public so we tend to meet new folks all the time. Its amazing that there are music fans out there and you just need to get that network up and running and keep in touch with them. Also, and this might be the most important thing…. We go to as many shows as we can. You simply must become part of the local scene if you wish for others to attend your shows. We have a core group of volunteers that are the coolest folks in the world too, and many friendships have spawned as a result of our shows, so I think this has lots to do with our consistent audience too…
We have a relationship with a radio station from Ann Arbor. It’s cool because it really is a radio station with a really cool studio but, they dropped the broadcast tower in favor of going to a web broadcast. But they have a loyal listership and we get our shows up live. We spent a night at their studio learning what we had to do and I have a buddy that sets up the sound that also handles the live broadcast. Its cool cause its like-one two three four — “Were live at Carrick’s House Concerts”….and he plays DJ in between. Since I do the MC duties, he’s on the air making announcements and killing dead space with some quick dj work…..then at breaks, we spin local artists until we’re live. We hope to pre-record some interviews that we can do during the break because the breaks are so important for the artists to sell their stuff.
3. Please share one of your favorite house concert moments so far….
Well, we attended the coolest house concert in the world at Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble in upstate New York-it was the coolest… but, for Carrick House Concerts, each show has something special about it… like when Brian VanderArk introduced a song for the very first time to the public right here at our house and the time Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart did a sing along with The Milroys and we handed out precussion instruments to the entire audience and we were all part of the band… or even the time The Salt Miners were playing at 4:00 PM at our place and they drove all night from Savannah Georgia and parked down the street and walked through our neighborhood wearing their black suits and funky hats… I’m sure the neighbors were wondering who the gangsters were heading to our place.
There have been lots of toes tapping, lots of laughs and even some tears when an artist reveals our own hearts to us through their songs. We’ve never had a disapointment and while everyone has their favorites, I know our audience has been introduced to some outstanding artists that they may not have otherwise listened to.
4. A little of your personal history would also be great…
We are Craig and Nicki Carrick, married for 20 years and have teenage kids. We’ve been involved in music for years either as playing in a band, going to lots of shows and being a volunteer with an all volunteer music festival in Michigan.
We both work normal day jobs, we have two labs (Maggie and Lucky) and a cat named Stripes. We LOVE Michigan and spend most of our vacation time at a small cabin in the middle of noplace in Northern Michigan at our spot called Crooked Lake.
Besides music, we enjoy fishing, canoing, reading and a good cold brew …. sometimes a couple. Our favorite music tends to be something with some teeth… light fluffy folk music is not our thing, although we do listen to some. Americana/Folk/Country/Blues with some banjos and harmonicas tossed in is a favorite, but we will always enjoy a little pop music too…